A cabaret in defense of the right to immigration

A cabaret in defense of the right to immigration

Panchita Uchis is an immigrant woman who works as an apprentice under the orders of “Madame Mercy”, with the eternal promise of a contract that will never arrive. As happens to many other women in her situation, she is burdened with caregiving duties in a society that does not recognize her. One day, he got fed up with this situation, so he decided to take to the streets to demonstrate under the slogan “Marriage for Babyliss is…true love.” This fact will raise a series of problems that will push her to head to Santa Migra, and discover together where the solution to her situation in isolation lies: migrant self-organization.

This is the approach to the show “Little Cabaret” – this is how it describes itself -, whose title takes the banner slogan and which was recently presented in Cimaronas surroundingsA cultural space in the Sants neighborhood (Barcelona) open to the artistic creations of racialised, migrant and genderqueer people. The work is signed under the name Ovarios Rebeldes and is directed and performed by Magy Castillo, accompanied on stage by Nass Awanaboka and with music performed live by Camila Cáiyé.

“My intention was to leave behind the hesitation and defensiveness that occurs when racism is mentioned,” explains Maggie Castillo, the show’s creator.

Nicaraguan psychologist and artist Maggie Castillo has been living in exile for six years in Catalonia, where she claims to perform popular feminist theatre. For her, the performing arts are a way to honor life, and a tool to make her voice heard before family, religion or the state. The actress very positively appreciates the rise of the organization of migrant communities and their artistic proposals in recent years: “This should be seen as an opportunity to meet and learn about other ways of life,” she explains, calling for an understanding of the act. Participation as something that enriches everyone who is a part of it.

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A scene to disturb and excite the action

The problems faced by people with an irregular administrative situation, popularly known as “undocumented”, have been a theme in Castillo's work since his arrival in Catalonia. This is the case with the cabaret represented by Periferia Cimarronas, which addresses the debate on racism by moving away from the usual forms of political correctness. “My intention was to leave behind the hesitation and defensiveness that occurs when racism is mentioned,” the actress explains. In this sense, he uses cabaret and popular theater as a means of doing so. The creator trained at the School of Performing Arts and Critical Thinking with the Mexican company Gorgeous queensThis is within the framework of many feminist meetings in Nicaragua.

“After six years of denouncing Daniel Ortega's government from exile, it was liberating for me to be able to talk about this also in a humorous way,” says Castillo, who has been living in exile in Catalonia for six years. |Aitana and Lina / The Obsessed Babysitter

“I seek to create discomfort that, rather than guilt, generates action through political commitment,” explains the artist, who also cites decolonization theory as one of the foundations of his artistic work. Regarding this ability to respond, he also points to the great clash between European and American reality, as the lack of a present state that guarantees the most basic rights pushes many people to generate new possibilities for themselves.

Humor as a way to attract the audience

The club Marriage on paper is… true love He put out the full poster on the three nights he performed at Periferia Cimarronas, eliciting laughter and applause at every show. The artist appreciates the diversity of the audience who attended, as well as the presence of whites, whose place he seeks to interrogate in a society organized under racist and colonial principles. “Sometimes there is a wrong approach to this discussion, because acknowledging your privilege does not negate your other oppressions,” points out Castillo, who appreciates the help of everyone who came into the room eager to learn and question — yes and with this approach the Fourth wall The popular theater and cabaret model was an essential element when engaging in dialogue with the audience.

“You can talk about everything with humor as long as you're clear about what the structures of power and oppression are, and what you want to do with them, perpetuate them or dismantle them,” Castillo says.

Another pillar of the show is humour. “Laughter has a mobilizing element: you feel excitement, excitement, anger and laughter at the same time; therefore, you leave not only with anger, but also with alternatives,” explains the actress. Panchita Uchis, the heroine of the series, is not just a victim, but also someone who resists and laughs at herself and the audience. The artist understands this truth as a way to honor people who suffer from oppression, and to put them in front of an audience to whom he can openly express his thoughts. “With humor, you can talk about any truth as long as you are clear about the structures of power and oppression, and what you want to do with it, or perpetuate or dismantle it.”

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“Amapolas Nicaragua” is a project that continues despite exile

In her native Nicaragua, Castillo was the founder of an LGBT women's theater troupe Nicaraguan poppyHe was born in the municipality of Estelí. The group became a standard for combining theater and feminism, until its members began receiving threats following the protests that shook the country in 2018. Most of them went into exile in different countries, where they continue to work hard. “What I do is connected to everything we built in this collection, and also to the feminist movement in Nicaragua,” the artist explains. In fact, the political situation in his country is also a present theme in his new cabaret show. “After six years of denouncing the government of Daniel Ortega from exile, it was liberating for me to be able to talk about this also in a humorous way,” explains the actress, who emphasizes the effort made in explaining the reality of Central America, with its similarities and characteristics in relation to… The cone of South America as a whole.

“Casarse por papeles es… verdadero amor” will be held on April 11 and 12 at the Metamorfosis Hall, also in Barcelona. |Aitana and Lina / The Obsessed Babysitter

Her path to Barcelona was not without obstacles for her. “Like many other artists with migrant backgrounds, it was not easy for me to access many places in Catalonia,” Castillo explains, noting that the same migrant networks were the first to open their doors to him. Doors, as with those of the Periferia Cimarronas. The artist believes that Catalan performing arts are far from showing the true importance of immigrants in society. In this same sense, he claims that he is often misunderstood when explaining the Mesoamerican theater traditions from which he comes. “I encountered some notions about art as entertainment and apart from what is happening in its environment, a completely different vision of the political and societal burden that it bears in many places in Latin America and of which I feel a part,” he concludes.

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Next chance to see the club Marriage on paper is… true love April 11th and 12th will be in the room the shiftAnd also in Barcelona.

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